Alternative rock band Night Riots returned to Fresno on March 11 to perform in front of a sold out crowd at Strummer’s.
Based out of Templeton, California, Night Riots has been together since 2011. The group consists of singer Travis Hawley, guitarist Nick Fotinakes, bassist Mikel Van Kranenburg, guitarist and keyboardist Matt DePauw and drummer Rico Rodriguez.
“Night Riots formed around high school days, when we all went to Templeton High School,” Fresno-native Rodriguez said. “It was just kind of an organic thing, just buddies playing music for fun. And as you grow a little bit, you start getting more serious about it.”
Los Angeles-based band Varsity Week opened up the show, followed by Wee Beasties of Fresno.
Wee Beasties brought out a large local crowd and played a high-energy set that got them moving and singing along.
Night Riots then hit the stage and played about an hour-long set, opening with it’s song “All For You,” which currently has over a million streams on Spotify.
Fresno’s show marked the first date of Night Riots’ next two-month tour where they will be opening for Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.
“With this tour, I’m just stoked that the first night we’re here in Fresno, and it’s already sold out,” Hawley said.
Throughout the night, Hawley showed how happy the band was to be back in Fresno, he continuously thanking everyone for selling out the show.
To further showcase that joy and happiness, yellow balloons with happy faces were released into the crowd.
Another highlight of the show was toward the end of the set, when the lights onstage went dark and every member of Night Riots began drumming with light-up drumsticks.
After years of playing around the Central Valley and developing a following, Night Riots managed to draw a large crowd to Strummer’s Saturday night and made its return to Fresno a memorable one.